would it be better to try to make my clay soil into a soil for gardening or should I just do a box type garden

I have no idea how to make that awful clay turn to a gardening soil ,what to add to it to make a nutrious soil for a veggie garden

8 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Soil is made from three particles sizes. Sand, silt & clay. Sand is the largest particle size. It provides for good drainage but is poor for holding moisture and nutrients. Silt is the medium sized particles. Clay is the finest particles. Clay is good for holding moisture and has the best nutrient holding capacities of the three. The best gardening soil in a loam. A loam has all three particle sizes and provides the best air infiltration, moisture and nutirent capacity. It takes a lot of work to convert a heavy clay soil into a loam. The University of Illinois Extension Service advises against adding sand to clay beacuse you need so much and a little just produces concrete. And where are you going to buy silt? If you amend a clay soil, then add compost. Compost, over time, will build a much better soil structure for gardening.

    The easiest approach is to build raised beds and start with a good top soil. Add your compost and you have a pretty good garden base.

    Source(s): Hort Degree - Soil Science Master Gardener Training
  • 1 decade ago

    All good stuff. I also had/have heavy clay.

    This year, do what you will but prepare for the future.

    Start a compost bin now.

    In the fall, turn that clay with a shovel. Dust it heavily with gypsum. Leave the weather to do the work over the winter-- you'll see that clay break apart-- it is amazing. Add your humus and compost-- do this for a year or more and you are on your way. Once this hard work is done you'll only (ONLY) be working hard to harvest and to keep weeds out of your wonder soil.

    good luck

  • 1 decade ago

    Where I live, the clay is so thick and seems to have no nutrients in it. I have added 3" of soil amendment and tilled it in, added bunches of nutrients and still had no luck. Another problem was moisture retention. The roots got rotted. Most plants say "well drained soil" and I couldn't get it with my clay. Finally went with raised beds and container growing. Am much happier.

  • 1 decade ago

    concur with previous answer. Put some sweat equity into your soil by adding amendments as listed above. In a year, your soil will be wonderful. You just have to add lots and lots and really till it in.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Build on top, using manure and compost etc. Leaf litter and lawn clippings as mulch that will break down too to create friable soil

  • 1 decade ago

    I gardened in clay for 3 years and had no trouble. It isn't easy, but I was renting.

  • 1 decade ago

    Till it or turn it and add: manure (available at home building stores, Walmart, etc), leaf mould (compost), straw, topsoil -- in order to increase the organic matter and lighten the clay soil. (I love my Mantis tiller!)

  • 1 decade ago


    This depends on where you are (Ca, Texas, etc.) and what

    you plan to grow. I suggest that you call your local

    Master Gardener hotline, or email them for an answer.

    www.mastergardeners.org will work for any county in


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